The eleventh annual Moab Folk Festival will be held Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, Nov. 1, 2 and 3.
“We are very excited about the depth and diversity of this year’s artists,” said Lisa Carter, assistant director of the Moab Folk Festival.
Ellis, who earned the People’s Choice award at the 2012 Moab Folk Festival, will return this year.
Audiences at other folk festivals love her too. She earned the same title at both the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival and Sisters Folk Festival the same year.
“She’s an incredible breath of fresh air. So happy and so positive. When you listen to her music you feel hopeful and uplifted,” said festival director Melissa Schmaedick.
Schmaedick listened to folk music to relax after a long stressful work day when she was living in Washington D.C.
“I relied on music to support me through my experiences. It expressed feelings that are hard to process or express in words,” she said.
When she moved to Moab in 2002 she chose to share the music that brought her solace.
“Creating the folk festival was a way to give back on an artistic and karmic level,” Schmaedick said. “It’s an art form that is based in people and humanity. Folk music speaks to everyday trials and celebrations of the average person.”
The festival is now celebrating its eleventh year and features well-known artists from across the country.
John Fullbright will be joining the line-up this year. His first studio album, “From the Ground Up” was nominated for an Emmy this year.
David Lindley will be performing both Friday and Saturday.
His electro-acoustic performances combine American bluegrass and folk with tunes from around the world, including elements of African, Arabic, Asian and Celtic sources.
The rest of the artist line-up includes Tom Russell, Eliza Gilkyson with special guest Nick Forster, The Steel Wheels, Elephant Revival, Gregory Alan Isakov, Marley’s Ghost, Parker Millsap Trio, 3 Penny Acre and Moors & McCumber.
Due to the intimacy of the venues and Moab’s small town atmosphere, festival artists can often be seen walking around town, eating at local restaurants, or participating in the late night jam sessions.
“It’s also not unusual to be sitting near someone at one of the performances and suddenly realizing that person was performing onstage the night before or earlier in the day,” Schmaedick said.
Evening performances will be held Friday and Saturday at Star Hall and the Grand County High School Auditorium. Daytime performances will be held at the Center Street Ball Field.
“This outdoor venue includes arts, crafts and food vendors,” Carter said. “This venue has a family friendly atmosphere.”
Children under 10 years of age get in free to the outdoor performances.
For those who want to hang out with grown-ups only at the outdoor venue can enjoy the beer garden for adults 21 years old and older.
There will also be Late Night Jam Sessions held after the evening performances on Friday and Saturday nights at Eddie McStiff’s. People are welcome to bring their instruments to participate, or to simply hang out and enjoy the music.
Those who are excited for the festival to begin can enjoy a special show to be held the day before the folk festival officially begins on Halloween. The Local’s Showcase will be held from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 31 at Star Hall.
Local performing artists such as David Steward and David Earl Brown; Susan Bush, Rex Flinner and Phil Triolo; and Ryan Barnum will perform. The night will also feature the group Mickey Blue, that includes Steve Hawks, Jaylyn Hawks, James Grantham, Joseph Hawks, Scott Crane and Mick Fuller.
Workshops will be held the mornings of Saturday, Nov 2 and Sunday, Nov 3. The workshops are free to the public and will include Art of the Song interviews with Ellis and another festival performer; a “singer-songwriter in the round” session; and a community choir workshop.
There will also be an exploratory discussion with The Steel Wheels on how this group maintains their commitment to lowering their carbon footprint by touring by bicycle.
Moab Folk Festival collaborator KZMU will be auctioning off their handmade quilt on Sunday, Nov 3, at the Moab Folk Festival Ball Field venue.
Tickets are now available for all venues and show. Sold locally at the Moab Copy Center and Back of Beyond Books. Moab-area residents can also get a 10 percent discount on all venues. Children 10 to 15 years receive a 10 percent discount to the indoor performances.